BILL TO WAIVE RADIO AUTO DISCLAIMER IN CONGRESS $20M GAIN IN NETWORK REVENUE ON DECK

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The radio industry is hoping to tap into an additional $20 million in revenue just in time for the 1995 new car season.

That's the amount of potential new network business expected if Congress passes an amendment to the Community Development Banking bill, according to the National Association of Broadcasters.

The legislation would allow placement of a toll-free number in radio spots that listeners could then call for details in lieu of the lengthy information now required to be read in ads for car leasing and loans.

TV and print ads can use tiny type for the information, but more than half of a 60-second radio spot gets eaten up by the disclaimers.

"Radio is feeling the pinch" said Thom Moon, managing editor of Radio Business Reports, referring to concern radio would be less competitive if the time-consuming disclaimers are still required.

A decision on the amendment is expected by Congress' mid-August recess.

Car dealers and other businesses that do lending and leasing are watching closely.

Last year, local car dealers spent $4.1 billion in advertising up almost 14% from '92.

"I would substitute cable TV for radio. Fifty percent print and 50% cable" if radio isn't waived from reading the leasing terms, said Robert Maguire, director of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The president of Bob Maguire Chevrolet-Geo, Bordentown, N.J., noted that 20% of his ad budget goes to radio, 80% to print.

Demaine, Vickers, Alexandria, Va., opted for a 2-minute radio talk show-style spot for its client, Five Star Chevrolet Dealers Association, because the disclaimers took up so much time.

But Windsor Demaine, association president, said: "It would be a tremendous help" if the bill passed.

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